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Rise in Coastguard calls

The Coastguard says it has seen a 23% rise in the number of incidents in the past month.

From 15 June to 16 July this year, HM Coastguard dealt with 2,859 incidents. That's an increase of 668 compared to the same period in 2012.

We always urge people to have fun but stay safe when out enjoying our beautiful coastline, particularly during this current spell of good weather. If you are heading out for a swim, check the sea conditions and remember that even though the sea may look calm on the surface, there is the danger of strong currents underneath. We recommend that you swim at a lifeguarded beach, take note of any warning signs and best to tell someone on the beach what you are doing so they can keep an eye on you.

– Peter Dymond, Chief Coastguard

It's not only swimmers in difficulty that HM Coastguard has recently dealt with. Other emergencies or calls for assistance include medical evacuations, mechanical problems with small boats, divers in difficulty, people stuck in mud, cliff falls and people cut off by the tide.

Always check tide times before you walk along the foreshore and away from beach access points so that you can avoid being cut off by the incoming tide. "When walking along cliff tops, make sure you are wearing suitable footwear and don't venture too close to the edge. Always keep dogs on a lead. "If you're heading out in a boat, canoe, kayak and such like, you should wear an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid. "The key thing to remember is that if you see someone in difficulty, you should call 999 immediately and ask for the Coastguard.

– Peter Dymond, Chief Coastguard

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